BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Ferris State Bulldogs (6-8-1, 4-7-0 CCHA) notched a pair of quick third-period goals to beat the Bowling Green Falcons (3-8-5, 2-7-2 CCHA), 2-1, and move out of the CCHA basement.
With the loss, the struggling Falcons stretch their winless streak to seven games dating back to November 7, when they defeated Niagara.
While the score was only 2-1, the game had the feel of a high-scoring affair.
“It’s amazing we finished 2-1,” said Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels. “If both goalies hadn’t played as well as they did, it probably would have been a 5-4 game. Mike Brown played extremely well, but so did [BGSU] goalie [Jordan Sigalet].”
In the battle between two tenth-place teams, great scoring chances, terrific defensive stops, and great goalie saves were the order of the evening. Brown and Sigalet combined to make 70 saves, providing the BG fans as well as the large contingent of Bulldog supporters with 60 minutes of exciting hockey.
The difference in the game, however, was second chances for Ferris.
“Ferris did a real good job of getting to the loose puck tonight and getting the second chances, as well Consequently, they had more chances to score throughout the game.” said Bowling Green coach Scott Paluch. “Our chances were going wide to the corners. Not getting the pucks on the cage — it didn’t give us many second chances.”
Brett Smith’s goal early in the third period — a second-chance goal — gave the Bulldogs the win.
“[Smith] is an extremely hard-working player,” said Daniels. “The pucks have been going in for him lately. That’s due to the fact that he’s on the power play now and seeing more chances.”
For the Falcons, struggling to score goals, this was a game of ups and downs.
“We were much better tonight retrieving loose pucks, but we didn’t shoot the puck confidently.” said Paluch.
Paluch was pleased with the play of his junior goalie, who stopped all of Ferris State’s 23 second-period shots, and 43 of 45 overall.
“[Sigalet] was terrific in the second period. He was right on top of a lot of loose pucks. He didn’t give them much. He got his body square to a lot of the rebounds. He was solid in following the pucks in.”
Bowling Green opened the scoring at 12:06 of the first period. After Bulldog defenseman Simon Mangos went off the ice for a holding penalty, sophomore Don Morrison registered his second goal of the year, beating Brown over the shoulder from just inside the left circle for the 1-0 lead.
Ryan Minnabarriet and James Unger assisted on BG’s only power-play goal of the night in six chances.
“Our penalty kill was very good,” explained Daniels. “But we gave them one early. The puck was centered to Morrison — a great feed. [Steve Brudzewski] beat our guy. Morrison came in from the blue line and we were in trouble.”
Ferris State tied the game early on in the final period. Junior center Jeff Legue scored his fourth goal of the season, beating Sigalet on the doorstep just 59 seconds into the period. Derrick McIver and Mark Bomersback added the helpers.
Ferris Struck again a minute and a half later as Smith notched his eighth goal of the year for the Bulldogs. Smith stuffed the puck past Sigalet just as the referee’s whistle blew to signify a Falcon penalty.
The game winner came at 2:36 of the period and was assisted by Joe Van Culin, picking up his first collegiate point, and Derek Nesbitt.
The Bulldogs and Falcons conclude their two-game series Saturday night at the BG Ice Arena. The opening faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m.